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Boost for Shire boathouse plans

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By Christie Breen
Dumfries and West
Boost for Shire boathouse plans

A CASH injection is set to boost a coastal community in Wigtownshire.

The £100,000 grant, confirmed by Fisheries Minister Mark Spencer on Tuesday, will help deliver a purpose-designed boathouse facility at the Isle of Whithorn.

This includes storage, workshop, kitchen, showers, toilets and changing area.

The grant was part of a £3.9 million UK-wide distribution to a range of coastal projects, including enhancing training facilities, promoting seafood careers as well as supporting infrastructure improvements. Planning permission has been granted for the project which is being spear-headed by the Wigtown Bay Coastal Rowing Club at a field site close to the waterfront.

Currently based in temporary premises, the club takes part in skiff racing events around the UK and also competed in the world championships held in Holland. Having constructed one boat, members soon hope to complete their second, based on the historic skiff fishing boat design.

The new building will also be used by a sub-aqua dive club and will become a hub for local and visiting boat users, including those involved in fishing.

It will be available for construction, repairs, storage and a range of other activities, not just for the club’s 70 members but also for others with an interest in marine matters.

Dumfries and Galloway MP and Scottish Secretary Alister Jack warmly welcomed the awarding of the grant through the UK Seafood Fund.

He said: “The go-ahead team behind the bid are determined the boathouse will have a positive affect on the Isle of Whithorn and the surrounding area and perhaps attract additional visitors.

“Skiff racing, in particular, provides fitness opportunities for a wide range of age groups and the new facilities will also have a heritage skills aspect by helping revive a once long tradition of boat-building in the village.”

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